Folk Orchestra Workshop at Stroud Folk Weekend. Leader: Fran Wade
Last year’s Folk Weekend ‘playing duets’ workshop evolved into a folk orchestra which now meets once per month at Rodborough Village Hall and did its first gig in June. Music for this year’s workshop is for a full orchestra and includes a tune line, a counter melody line, another harmony line – the continuo, lines for viola and cello / bass, chord notation and parts for Bb clarinets and Eb saxophones. The workshop will appeal to players who are inspired by our rich musical heritage and who would like to play together in a more structured way than would be found in a traditional pub session. The style will be ‘chamber orchestra meets folk’ where the rhythm comes from the tune and accompaniment players rather than a hefty set of timps and percussion. The workshop is likely to include fiddles, mandolins, flutes, concertinas, recorders, violas, cellos, double bass, guitars, keyboard, clarinets, alto sax, accordions – really anything that squeezes, blows, plinks or scrapes apart from percussion. Players will need to be able to follow a line of music, but not be expert sight readers.

We will do 4 – 5 traditional tunes drawn from the music of the British Isles. The 2 hour workshop will include a brief break for refreshment and will be followed by a performance of our endeavours at the start of the afternoon concert at 1pm. It will be a glorious noise!
Sunday 23rd September 2018 10.15am – 12:30 pm Imperial Hotel, & a performance slot 1.00 – 1.30pm in the afternoon concert.
Cost: £5 (not including refreshments). Bring a pencil, highlighter pen and music stand. Arrive 10.15am for a prompt 10.30 start. Workshop finish: 12.30. Lunch after the concert slot!

Fran Wade has been playing folk music for decades in various bands and has led orchestras and choirs both locally and at festivals further afield (eg Whitby, Broadstairs, Prince Albert Carol Consort, Stroud).



Dursley Music Session, set up by Anne & John Roberts, takes place on alternate Tuesday nights, 8.00pm onwards  Ye Olde Dursley Hotel, Long St., Dursley. The session regularly attracts about 10-15 musicians offering a good mix of traditional, more modern folk tunes, and a few songs thrown in. Musicians and listeners always welcome.  For further details contact Anne & John on 01453 548860, or message.
Friday evening at the Ale House 7-9pm 

As well as being members of Phoenix, Grand Union and Flying Clouds they have played on the ceilidh stages of all the major folk festivals in the country, including regular appearances at Sidmouth and Whitby. Their work with the Scottish Band Dalriada has taken them further afield to festivals in France, Poland, Sardinia and New Zealand. They have taught harmony singing through their involvement with the Prince Albert Consort in their home town of Stroud.
English Music Session Friday at the Ale House 9-11pm.

The Five Valleys Session meet at various locations in the district on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month until they find a permanent home. The music is mainly a mix of Celtic and English tunes, with a peppering of French, Scandinavian, Americana and a bit of blues. Alternatively, on the 1st Thursday of each month there is often an offshoot of this group playing mainly Balkan & Klezmer tunes.
Music Session at the Ale House Saturday 1-2:45pm. 

HOST of the AIR     (Mick Toher & Friends)
‘Mick hails from county Cork and therefore especially loves the music of Sliabh Luachra and loves accompanying people on guitar with these tunes. Nothing beats a good slide or polka in his mind. Songs in Gaelic are also a reference point in his repertoire. with a special fondness for the Cork ballads of Jimmy Crowley.’
Irish session Saturday at the Ale House 3-4:45pm

Double graduate musician, local folky, border morris box player, retired cricketer, not retired businessman and sometime singer of silly songs. Expect some Tchaikovsky, but not much.
English Song & Tune Session Sunday at the Ale House 1-2:45pm

Norma Mills (Bees Knees, Ukestroud) will host this session. All styles welcome and there will be some music for part playing. Bring a tune to share.
Sunday at the Ale House 3-4:45pm.

If you are interested in being involved – contact the sessions co-ordinator.  Brad McEwen

E-mail: Sessions Co-ordinator





Weekend Festival Programme

Saturday Dance Running Order



  • Most events in the Stroud Folk Weekend are free – please give generously when you see the collection buckets.
  • There are some ticketed events at the Sub Rooms and Ruskin Mill College – details are given on the programme listings where appropriate.






  • There are no camping facilities at the festival. However we have a number of sites in the surrounding Cotswold Hills.  Campsite List